Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances

News Summary

No exemptions to smoking bans

Publication Date: 2008-02-18
  • Author:Editorial
  • Publication:Springfield Journal-Register

It was inevitable that the first legislative session after enactment of the Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act would bring numerous efforts to chip away at the state's new comprehensive indoor smoking ban.

We would like to believe it is just as inevitable that the General Assembly will send these various interest groups packing without a second thought. The most important aspect of Illinois' new clean indoor air law is that it is comprehensive. No business or group can claim it suffers an unfair disadvantage because some other business or group has received an exemption from the law.

It also means the health of every patron and every employee of every business in Illinois now receives the same protection under the law.

That should be the end of it, but three bills pending in the legislature seek to make it otherwise. The House Environmental Health Committee should summarily reject all three and send a strong message that Illinois' clean air protections extend to everyone and that - like an ever-growing list of states and countries - Illinois is not interested in turning back the clock to the days when nonsmokers were expected to share in the habit of smokers as a matter of simple politeness.